USDA Announces Sign-Up for Transportation Reimbursement Program
Program Helps Offset Cost for Farmers and Ranchers Outside the Contiguous U.S.
WASHINGTON, May 23, 2014 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia today announced that beginning July 21, farmers and ranchers residing outside the contiguous United States can enroll in the Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program (RTCP) for fiscal year 2014.
The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized RTCP, which offsets a portion of the costs of transporting agricultural products over long distances. The program allows farmers and ranchers in Alaska, Hawaii and insular areas including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands of the United States, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Palau, to recover any transportation costs.
“This program helps U.S. farmers and ranchers outside the 48 contiguous states who are at a competitive disadvantage when transporting agriculture products to market,” said Garcia.
Benefits are calculated based on the costs incurred for transportation of the agricultural commodity or inputs during a fiscal year, subject to an $8,000 per producer cap per fiscal year. Fiscal year 2013 payments are scheduled to begin May 27, 2014. Total fiscal year 2013 claims exceeded available funding; therefore, payments to recipients will be reduced by 0.6986156 percent. USDA will provide $1.8 million to help offset transportation costs for producers enrolled in the program in last year.
RTCP enrollments for fiscal year 2014 will begin on July 21, 2014, and end on Sept. 8, 2014. Applicants must submit their application to their administrative county FSA office by Sept. 8, 2014. Applicants will have until Nov. 3, 2014, to provide supporting documentation.
For more information on the RTCP program, farmers and ranchers in the eligible areas can visit their administrative FSA county office or the FSA website.